Bisan Center and PIPD monitor violations of the Israeli occupation in Gaza for the third week after the decision of ICJ

Date: 16 February 2024

On 26 January 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) determined the plausibility that Israel is carrying out genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, and ordered Israel to:

  1. prevent the commision of genocidal acts
  2. prevent and punish public incitement to genocide
  3. ensure aid and services reach Palestinians
  4. report back to the ICJ by 23 February on steps taken to comply with the above.

In the three weeks since the ICJ’s ruling, Israel has continued its genocidal war on Gaza in clear violation of the legally binding order and in total impunity. On 11 February 2024, the UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territory stated: “Defying the ICJ’s interim measures, Israel’s escalation in Gaza has led to hundreds of casualties, more devastation and forced displacement. Israel is obligated to adhere to the court’s order and states must act decisively to prevent further atrocities.”

This brief outlines key documented violations over the past week. For a recap of the violations in the first two weeks after the ICJ ruling, click here and here.


Ongoing Genocidal Acts – Killings and Causing Serious Bodily or Mental Harm

  • Since the ICJ’s ruling three weeks ago, the Israeli army killed around 2,578 Palestinians, and wounded 3,908 others,[1] bringing the total number of killings since 7 October 2023 to at least 28,663 and the injuries to 68,395. According to an official press release by the Israeli embassy to the Holy See, 75% of Palestinians killed in Gaza by the Israeli forces are civilians.
  • In a horrific incident on 14 February, a handcuffed Palestinian detainee dressed in white PPE was sent by Israeli forces to the besieged Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis to deliver a message to those at the hospital to evacuate or they will blow it. As he was walking outside the hospital, still inside the gates, he was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier three times in his chest and abdomen. The Ministry of Health reported that Israeli snipers killed another three Palestinians at the Hospital on the same day.
  • The bodies of around 100 Palestinians have been recovered after Israeli forces withdrew from the Tal al-Hawa and Remal neighborhoods in Gaza City.
  • A testimony was released in the Israeli website ynet which told an account of the killing of a Palestinian prisoner by an Israeli soldier. This article also documented various other war crimes including looting and destruction of Palestinian property.

Ongoing Genocidal Acts – Forcible Displacement and Inflicting Conditions of Life to Bring about Physical Destruction:

  • Earlier this month, Israeli Defence Minister Gallant said: “We are achieving our missions in Khan Younis, and we will also reach Rafah and eliminate terror elements that threaten us,” There are now around 5 million Palestinians in Rafah, most of whom have been internally displaced since 7 October, “crammed amid insecurity and acute shortages of shelter, food, clean water, and medical care”. Despite international condemnations including by states, the International Criminal Court and another request to the ICJ by South Africa, over the anticipated ground offensive in Rafah, Israel has vowed to go ahead with its ground offensive. In an overnight bombardment on 12 February, Israeli strikes killed 67 Palestinians and wounded dozens in Rafah. Intensified airstrikes on Rafah have forced the displacement of people toward Deir al Balah.
  • Israel is continuing to destroy the cultural heritage of Palestinians in Gaza. A report by the National Palestinian Library detailed the destruction of 26 cultural and theater centers, over 325 cultural and historic buildings and sites, five libraries, 208 mosques and two churches, and the targeted killing of 44 cultural and scientific figures.
  • Over the past week, Israel has continued its targeting of the health sector in Gaza, including hospitals and medical teams. Between 7 October and 12 February, there were 378 attacks on health care across Gaza, affecting 98 health facilities and 98 ambulances. As of 7 February, there are no fully functional hospitals in Gaza, with 13 of the 36 hospitals only partially functional.
  • Israeli forces have tightened the 3-week siege on Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis with Israeli forces firing at and killing people in the hospital’s yard. For example, on 12 February, Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians and injured 14 in the courtyard of the hospital. Israeli forces continued to issue warnings to evacuate everyone from the hospital. On 13 February, footage showed thousands who had been sheltering inside the Hospital, forced to evacuate. More than 2,500 Palestinians remain inside, including medical staff, patients and displaced Palestininas. On 15 February, the army shelled the hospital’s orthopedic department, snipers surrounding the hospital opened fire at displaced people, while Israeli forces stormed the hospital, ordering everyone inside to head to Rafah. Footage shows smoke and chaos in the hospital’s corridors where gunshots can be heard. Israeli forces further targeted fleeing people on the passage it designated as safe, injuring many. A small number of medical staff remain with patients that were unable to evacuate and were forced to move into the old building of the medical complex. At least four patients died in the intensive care unit as a result of power outage and restrictions of oxygen supplies.

To learn more about the developments at Nasser Hospital, testimonies from doctors at the hospital since 13 February can be assessed in this  Google drive.

Disrupting Humanitarian Aid

  • On 12 February, the World Health Organization stated that humanitarian aid provided so far to Gaza is “a drop in the ocean of need which continues to grow every day”.
  • UN Secretary-General Guterres said he is worried about deteriorating conditions faced by aid delivery workers in Gaza, where convoys have sometimes come under fire from Israeli forces
  • Less aid has gone daily into Gaza as compared to the average daily trucks entering Gaza before 26 January. Before 7 October, the average number of trucks that entered Gaza each day was around 500. For the week between 19-25 January, 156 trucks entered daily on average. Aid delivery has continued to decline for the period between 9 and 14 February, on average 51 trucks entered Gaza. Hunger is widespread in the North of Wadi Gaza.
  • Israel’s assault against UNRWA to end the agency has not been deterred, and this without providing any evidence on its allegations on UNRWA staff. The Israeli Housing and Construction Minister Goldknopf has instructed the Israel Land Authority to immediately cancel all lease agreements with UNRWA and evict it from its main headquarters in eastern Jerusalem, despite warnings by human rights organizations of the catastrophic effects of this step on Palestinian lives. On 11 February, UNRWA chief said the agency is facing growing administrative hurdles from Israel, with a shipment amounting to a month’s supply of food blocked.
  • Israel’s targeting of civilian police is hampering aid delivery.
  • No access to clean drinking water in the northern governorates.
  • UNRWA reported outbreaks of hepatitis A, and alarmingly high rates of diarrhea in Rafah, which can be deadly if there is not enough clean water.
  • On 12 February, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN said “Every day, more and more people are on the brink of famine-like conditions…There are unprecedented levels of acute food insecurity, hunger, and near-famine-like conditions in Gaza,”
  • According to OCHA, there is an urgent need to establish a stabilization centre in Rafah for treating children suffering from severe malnutrition and suffering from complications.

Public Incitement to Genocide

  • The Israeli attorney general did not press any charges against any Israeli for issuing genocidal statements.
  • Commenting on the ground invasion in Rafah, Prime Minister Netanyahu said on February 11: “We’re going to do it. We’re going to get the remaining Hamas terrorist battalions in Rafah, which is the last bastion, but we’re going to do it…We’ve so far succeeded and we are going to succeed again. Those who say that under no circumstances should we enter Rafah are basically saying lose the war.”
  • Meanwhile, Israel’s Foreign Minister Katz, arguing that Israel respects international law said: “Calls to limit Israel’s defense only strengthen Hamas. Rest assured, Israel is resolute in its mission to dismantle Hamas.”
  • Israeli minister of Finance Smotrich said “American pressure or fear of harming civilians should not deter us from occupying Rafah and destroying Hamas.” Smotrich further said he has decided to block the transfer of food assistance to Gaza.
  • The Israeli delegation to the Holy See claimed that the “whole Gaza population either supports or commits terrorism”.[2]
  • The Israeli Chief Herzi Halevi said Israeli forces have carried out “very high military achievements” in in Gaza but there is “a long way to go…In the past decades, there has not been an army that maneuvered in an area that is urban and dense…IDF soldiers are dealing with this with great success and the military achievements are extraordinary.”

Israeli soldiers continue to film themselves as they commit crimes in Gaza:

  • Israeli military officer Isahar Akilov ordered his soldiers to flatten random civilian homes in Gaza.
  • A soldier from Netzh Yehuda Bettalion is being cheered as he is saying “we had to wait for our turn to enter Gaza and now we arrived to inflict terror”.
  • Soldier Shoam Gueta has called on Israeli military command to enlist 20,000 D9 caterpillars to destroy the whole of Gaza in a straight line.

[1] According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health between 26 January and 15 February 2024.

[2] IBID Israeli Embassy to the Holy See, Press release